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Old 04-28-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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What does Challah taste like? Is it sweet?

I'm wanting to make rolls. I must say that I am a very lazy baker!!! I like the Artisan in 5 books. I recently purchased the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook and I'm thinking of using the whole wheat Challah recipe to make dinner rolls. I've never tasted Challah before. Is it supposed to be sweet? I don't mind a slight sweetness to dinner rolls, but I prefer not to have a desert bread roll.

Here's the recipe in a nutshell:

5 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup neutral flavored oil or butter
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
egg wash
poppy seeds

So, I'm planning to leave out the vanilla and poppy seeds. I'm thinking of decreasing the honey by half.

What do you think? Is Challah normally sweet? I want to use this recipe because I believe it will be light and airy. Of course, I'm not against just winging it, but I'd like some input if you have any.

Thanks,
ttb

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Old 04-28-2010, 10:41 PM   #2
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challah is a dense slightly "sweet" eggy bread. It is very nice bread. It makes the best french toast!
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:02 AM   #3
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Robo410 is on the money. I love challah, it is a lot like Polish Babka bread. I wouldn't change the recipe the first time but make it and see how you like it. It does not read like a very sweet recipe at all.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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Challah is sweet, but not sugary sweet. It is still a bread and not like a cake. I am skeptical of a whole wheat challah though. Something about that just does not sit well with me. For me, that would not be challah.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:00 AM   #5
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As a man who has eaten a lot of challah, it tends to be sweeter. My wife actually uses honey in hers as well. You can cut the sweetness by backing out on the honey a little. I would also recommend leaving out the vanilla as it will taste more cake like, unless you like it. The mix or white with whole wheat is the way to go as just whole wheat will be to dense.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymetobake View Post
I'm wanting to make rolls. I must say that I am a very lazy baker!!! I like the Artisan in 5 books. I recently purchased the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook and I'm thinking of using the whole wheat Challah recipe to make dinner rolls. I've never tasted Challah before. Is it supposed to be sweet? I don't mind a slight sweetness to dinner rolls, but I prefer not to have a desert bread roll.

Here's the recipe in a nutshell:

5 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup neutral flavored oil or butter
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
egg wash
poppy seeds

So, I'm planning to leave out the vanilla and poppy seeds. I'm thinking of decreasing the honey by half.

What do you think? Is Challah normally sweet? I want to use this recipe because I believe it will be light and airy. Of course, I'm not against just winging it, but I'd like some input if you have any.

Thanks,
ttb
This recipe is SO far from a traditional Challah recipe as to be unrecognizable as what they are calling it!

Poppy seeds are traditional as a topping for challah, vanilla doesn't belong anywhere near it!

Here is a traditional Challah recipe, should you choose to really make that bread. You can sub whole wheat flour for half the all-purpose flour if you like.

Challah
(Jewish Egg Bread)

Challah is the traditional Jewish Sabbath and Holiday bread. It is rich with eggs, and sometimes at Rosh Hashanah -- fruit. This is a pareve Challah. If you wish to make a richer bread (or for a dairy meal) you may substitute whole milk for the 3/4 cup water in the recipe. Special Bonus: If any of the Challah remains to get stale, soaking it in an egg mixture allow you to make the best French Toast in the universe!

makes 2 braided challah (or one large swirled)

1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Approximately 3/4 cup water
1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water (for brushing the loaf)
Poppy seeds (for sprinkling, optional)

1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup lukewarm water. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar. Make a hollow in the center and put yeast mixture in the hole. Mix to a thin paste adding a little flour from the sides. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes.
3. Add eggs, oil and water to the hole. Combine mixture in hollow with flour around it using a spoon at first, then your hands, and adding additional flour to the bottom and sides as needed. Knead well, about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth.
4. The dough should lose its stickiness and completely clean the bowl. Sprinkle a little flour under dough in bowl. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and form into loaves (or one large one).
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To form into loaves: 1) make one large swirled round by rolling into one long coil, and coiling it upward, with the end sticking out the top; (This is the traditional shape for the New Year.) 2) cut off pieces, knead into balls and put side by side in oiled bread pans; 3) Divide in two. Then divide each loaf into five pieces and roll into long coils. Starting from the middle, braid the coils to each end, and put braid(s) into well-oiled bread pan(s) or onto a large baking sheet well sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until almost double in size (about 1 hour).
6. Just before baking, brush tops with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown, and loaf taps hollow. Cool on wire racks.

Teacher’s Tips: 1. For Rosh Hashanah, you may wish to make a “beehive” loaf. Use all the dough and make a long thick coil that you will roll like a snake and let it climb two or three layers.
2. Soy milk makes a very rich-tasting pareve Challah.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody.

I'm not really concerned about it tasting like a real Challah. I'm just wanting to make some lazy rolls. The Artisan in 5 and Healthy in 5 books are all no knead recipes. Most call for keeping the dough in the fridge for a few days before baking to develop a sour dough flavor.

Anyway, I was just worried the dough would be too sweet for dinner rolls. That's what I was getting at.

I wouldn't know a real Challah if it walked up and said hello... Thank you for posting your traditional Challah recipe, Chef June. It's nice to see the comparison.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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Cut down on honey, get rid off vanila. And you got it. Light and airy I don't know, othing whole wheat is light and airy. You'll be fine.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymetobake View Post
Anyway, I was just worried the dough would be too sweet for dinner rolls. That's what I was getting at.
I can not speak to the recipe you posted, but a traditional challah is not too sweet for that purpose. It is often served with dinner.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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Actually I disagree with GB, it depends on your taste. Traditional Challah is too sweet for my taste.
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